Royal Navy ‘T-Dial’ 165.024 Omega Seamaster 300
Something as unassuming as a little circled T on a dial can belie a whole lot of significance. To the untrained eye, this is a vintage Seamaster like any other. To you and I, it’s an elusive, fixed springbar, thoroughbred mil-spec diver. No one will mug you for it in East London. But it will set alight the hearts of those who appreciate history. This is a watch which served its country, a watch where each hairline and crystal scratch makes it more, rather than less, beautiful.
The British MoD took delivery of these mil-spec Seamaster 300s between 1967 and 1971. They differed from the civilian version in three ways: first, the dial. A circled T was placed to indicate presence of radioactive tritium loud and clear. However, there are some genuine mil-spec watches from early production which lacked this. Second, fixed springbars; this diver is NATO-only, it won’t be failing at a springbar any time soon. Third, the caseback engravings. Half of these went to the Army and half went to the Royal Navy. Army engravings begin with ‘W10’ while Navy engravings begin ‘0552’.
This example is offered new to market from the original owner, who was in the 15/19th Kings Royal Hussars, a battle tank squadron. Despite belonging to the British Army, this watch bears Royal Navy engravings. The distribution was not precise, this is common. The owner served from 1960-1982 in Germany, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. Most of that time was served in a Chieftain, his service ending with rank of Regimental Quartermaster. It will be auctioned in two days, and I can think of few more interesting, historic, or desirable Seamasters.
The dial shown here is very lovely. The markings are all clear and seem correct. Its tritium is hard worn, but still holding together. The case and plexi crystal have moderate surface wear with a few light bashes here and there. There are no photos of the caseback engravings, only a note that they’re of the ‘0552’ variety in the description. Quite the Seamaster.
Find this Royal Navy Seamaster 300 here as part of Bonhams ‘Fine Watches’ Auction, set to hammer 14 December 2022 (estimated 40,000-60,000 GBP).